12-14' small volume, light and cheap...?

I’m about a “beginner-plus” paddler and bought a Tsunami 120 for myself last summer. I’m now looking to purchase a second kayak, so that my teenage son can paddle with me. I’m 5’2", 140lb and he’s 14yo, 5’6", 110lb. He’s paddled my kayak and seems very comfortable in it.

We almost exclusively kayak rivers here in Michigan. We may take them to very small lakes every so often. We do overnights but have good backpacking gear that doesn’t require much storage room, but would still need two hatches. I’m really happy with the 12’ length, but 14’ would be fine as well.

So, I’m looking for a relatively narrow/low volume kayak that’s light weight. AND my budget is small… $1,000 is the absolute max for boat, paddle, PFD. I’m fine with used… just not sure which models to look out for. I’ve paddled a Hurricane Tampico 140S that I really liked. Any others I should look for? Thanks!

see the ads here:

Or click on “classifiedds” o nthe upper toolbar. There is an Edisto, which sounds comparable to what you’re paddlign. But also a decent deal on a Hurricane Tracer, a step up from the Tampico, near the bottom. Both in michigan.

Thanks, did check those…
I’ve looked through that list as well as used boats in Craigslist and a local paddle school’s used boat list. The Edisto is a little too heavy; the Tsunami is about as heavy as I want to go and that’s 50lb. The Tracer is much longer than what I’m looking for.

I appreciate the heads up nevertheless.

bookmark this page
check back daily every day after Labor Day and esp around the 10th.

This is a kayaking school for beginners. Traditionally they sell off small kayaks from their fleet & they are loaded w. Hurricane Aquasports kayaks like Santees and Tampicos. Very gently used kayaks.


They are about 25 minutes south of Jackson on a small lake (Vandercook) Don’t know if they allow demos prior to purchase - call and ask.

note: I am in no way affiliated w. them or Hurricane AS.

Delta 12S

Alas it’s a bit past your budget and you won’t find a used one because it’s a new model, but it’s a unique kayak that would meet all of your needs. Watch this video about its big brother to get a sense of its qualities: http://www.frontenac-outfitters.com/kayaks/one_boat.cfm?ID=645

Tribute 14?
Perception Tribute 14? Might get in under your budget with an end-of -season discount or package deal.

Quiet World
When I mentioned a “local paddle school’s used boat list”, I was talking about Quiet World. :slight_smile: I took one of their classes and paddled the Tampico that I really liked. I’ll keep checking their list for sure.

What do you like about the Tampico 140S?
I test paddled one a month or so ago and discovered it was very difficult for me to turn. Might not be your best option for smaller streams if tight turns are required. Of course, I was trying higher speed turns, not slow turns.

I’m 5’6" and 160 lbs.

here’s another source:

– Last Updated: Aug-27-13 3:40 PM EST –


These are really good folks and they likely have more on sale that isn't on this list.

good luck!

QWS boat list
s/be expanding very soon. Most likely around Sept 15. They used to sell lightly used pfds and Bending Branches paddles too, don’t know if they still do, in case your son needs them.

Summit Sports is also a Hurricane dealer. They’ll be selling some of their demo fleet after Sept 10 which is their last announced Demo day. If you can make it out to Kent Lake (Island Lake rec area) from 3-7 pm that day your son can not only try kayaks but you can check their weights and get an idea which ones might be coming up for sale.

Brighton store has a tent sale going on since Aug 26. Might be boats there, sure to be gear (paddles, pfds, clothing, water shoes, safety equipment etc) there.

Kayak Corral
yup they are a really good outfit. Good people. Dana Corbett has been paddling over 30 years.

They have a few Dagger Alchemies in the back, iirc, at surprisingly good prices. You have to ask about them. They are in the high 40s, weight-wise. But in a year your son will be lifting both your boats up :wink:

They carry the Perception Tribute. Saw a floor model earlier this year.

And Hurricanes too.

tight river turns
The older 135S was much better than the 140S (or for that matter the even lunkier 140L) when it came to turns. The 140 series came about to make tracking even easier for new kayakers and something had to give.

I paddled w. a guy who had a Hurricane Excursion 140 and acquitted himself very well on the twisty turns of the Black River near Onaway MI. I might go for that or the Excursion 128. but first I’d get rid of the gawky upper seat back on all the Excursions.

Kayak Corral
That’s where I bought my Tsunami. Great store. I live in Ann Arbor, so convenient for me. I’ve looked through their ‘truck sale’ list (I think that’s what they called it) but I’ll go by sometime soon and see what they may have for sale in the store.

Tampico 140S
Well… you’re asking someone who paddled for 25 years in rental kayaks, so pretty much ANY kayak that’s better sized for me is going to feel like a dream!

I’ve heard the Tsunami 120 described as a “tub” but, from my perspective, I love it. The Tampico 140S is a bit narrower, with a lower deck than the Tsunami and probably fits me a little better. It’s also lighter. I just found it really comfortable to paddle.

Delta S12
That one looks great. Thanks.

Thanks - added to my list

experiences differ

– Last Updated: Aug-28-13 3:57 PM EST –

and give us our basis for our comparisons. I've paddled both the Tampico 135s and the 140s and that was the basis for mine. I agree that either one paddles a lot differently than a typical rental rec kayak.

We all gotta start somewhere. In my case, I paddled a rec kayak once, got one a week later, got bored w. it a month later. Then got a Tampico 135S. Three months later I got a 16 foot 20" fiberglass seakayak. I didn't know that's not the typical path. Wasn't checking in with anyone about what I "should" have been paddling at that stage lol.

It's all good by me if it gets you where you wanna go, is fun while you're there, and has the features needed to get you back safely in your paddling venue(s) of choice. I enjoy discussing differences in kayaks but not at the expense of paddling time ;)

I think a lot of fun can be had w.the Tampicos (any model) and the Tsu 120.They are light for length and have many desirable safety & comfort features for doing gentle rivers or most lakes - which is typical Michigan water.

Perception Sonoma Airalight

– Last Updated: Aug-28-13 7:59 PM EST –

These are 13.6 feet (there is a shorter version too) at about 40lb in the thermoplastic Airalight construction. They are a bit tippier than a typical rec kayak but even my wife as a first timer managed one on calm water. $5-600 used. Lack a front bulkhead but there is enough flotation for a rescue and then you can dump/pump (it won't sink on you). They are quite efficient swede form shape and fast for their 12 or so foot effective waterline length.

Here is a quick video from when I had mine a few years back. I still miss it even though I was a bit too big for it... http://youtu.be/DV0mbQ-HDD8

I would think the Eddyline Samba would be an excellent choice too, but more $$$

Not low volume but a good kayak

impex mystic
Used Impex Mystic, someone near me just sold a carbon kevlar one (with rubber hatches) for $800.